Between visiting injured managers and workers at a Manesar hospital, Maruti Suzuki COO (administration) S.Y. Siddiqui —the chief negotiator for the management in the present crisis—spoke to Outlook.
On the problems at Manesar: Our MD has continuously stressed that this is not an industrial relations issue. It is something else and we want to know what it is. There could even have been some outside influence. The probe is on and we will find out what caused the events and the violence at Manesar, which led to the death of one of our managers.
On retrenching the present workforce: No, we are not planning a retrenchment of our workers at Manesar, but people found guilty will have no place in Maruti. Violence will not be accepted at any cost. We are also not looking to do any fresh hiring at the moment.
On when the lockout at Manesar will be lifted: We have requested the government that unless the guilty parties are brought to book—and safety and security of the managers and workers is ensured—we will not resume operations at the factory. We want to ensure that the confidence of the people who work at Manesar is restored before work is restarted. We are trying to resettle the 90-plus people who have been injured and affected, and trying to restore their confidence.
On demand for increased wages: There is no such issue on salary. Wage negotiation was on at both Gurgaon and Manesar (plants). The issue was regarding contract workers in terms of pay parity with permanent workers. We had already started the process from November and would complete it by March 2013.
On demand for better working conditions: We have already done that. We are taking care of issues regarding workplace comfort, sitting place and fans. Their demands are being looked into and we will do everything possible to accommodate them.